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Fighting toads, with toads?

By | May 8, 2008

An Australian research group is proposing a surprising technique to alleviate the ecological damage that the invasive cane toad has caused to many regions of Australia. linkurl:Rick Shine;http://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/Shinelab/shine/shine.html at Sidney University suggested yesterday in a lecture to the Australian Academy of Sciences that researchers introduce tiny cane toads to areas where they have not yet been found, reasoning that it will help animals learn to avoid the toxic creatures, the Ne

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Flower power in motion

By | May 8, 2008

If you're thinking of buying flowers for mom this Sunday, beware of nature's seductive marketing. A new linkurl:study;http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01543.x published on-line this week in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology shows that flowers flutter in the wind to be attractive. But this floral advertising is not aimed at mother-loving children. Instead, researchers in the UK suggest, flower "waving" is a hitherto unrecognized way that plants entice insect pol

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Victimless leather, R.I.P.

By | May 8, 2008

Victimless Leather, one of the works on show at the Museum of Modern Art's Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition, has claimed a victim: itself. Exhibition curator, Paola Antonelli, pulled the plug on the piece's life-support system last week, effectively "killing" the project, according to linkurl:The Art Newspaper.;http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=7834 linkurl:Victimless Leather;http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/#/294/ was a miniature "leather" jacket, made up of a

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Platypus genome published

By | May 7, 2008

The platypus joins the ranks of linkurl:fruit flies,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53844/ linkurl:rice,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/20020404/04/ linkurl:humans,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23065/ and other subjects of intense genetic study with the linkurl:publication;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/full/nature06936.html of its genome sequence today (May 7) in __Nature__. Researchers say that exploring the genome of the platypus, which sits at a u

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Fat cell numbers fixed in adults

By | May 5, 2008

The number of linkurl:fat cells;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54033/ in a person's body is determined during childhood and stays constant throughout life, with about 10 percent of fat cells dying and being replaced annually, according to study published in __Nature__ yesterday (May 4). Understanding the hitherto poorly characterized dynamics of fat cell production and turnover may help researchers target key processes in obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes. "We are ge

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Antitrust probe spurs disease review

By | May 2, 2008

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has agreed to reassess controversial treatment guidelines for Lyme disease after an unprecedented antitrust investigation was launched against the group last year, according to the linkurl:Wall Street Journal Health Blog.;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/05/01/guidelines-for-lyme-disease-treatment-go-back-for-review/?mod=WSJBlog Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal linkurl:launched the investigation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/d

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Barcoding the world's trees

By | May 2, 2008

Botanists from all over the world have convened in New York City and are hammering out plans to assemble a DNA-based linkurl:catalog;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/12/1/36/1/ of the Earth's tree species. The scientists met yesterday (May 1) and are meeting today (May 2) at the New York Botanical Garden to discuss an effort to barcode - or identify using short, standardized stretches of genetic material - all 100,000 or so tree species on the planet. The project is called Tree-BOL, for the tr

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First women to win $500,000 prize

By | May 2, 2008

The discoverer of telomerase, Elizabeth Blackburn, and Joan Steitz, known for identifying small ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and elucidating their role in DNA transcription, were awarded the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize today (May 2). They are the first women to receive the prize, which has been awarded since the year 2000. Blackburn, at the University of California, San Francisco, was recognized for her work on telomeres with the 2006 linkurl:Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research;http

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How to track a stem cell

By | May 1, 2008

Before therapies using human embryonic stem cells can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, researchers will have to answer one key question: where do the cells go when they are injected into the patient? During an FDA meeting earlier this linkurl:month;http://www.the-scientist.com/templates/trackable/display/blog.jsp?type=blog&o_url=blog/display/54544&id=54544 on the safety of embryonic stem cell therapies, the agency grappled with the issues of tracking stem cells in vivo. Regardl

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Publisher gives authors copyright

By | May 1, 2008

A medical publisher has changed its copyright policy to ease the process for authors to comply with the federal public access mandate. Starting today (May 1), authors will automatically retain copyright of manuscripts submitted to Rockefeller University Press journals, according to an linkurl:editorial;http://www.jcb.org/cgi/content/full/jcb.200804037 published yesterday in the Journal of Cell Biology. Giving copyrights to authors streamlines the process of submitting articles to PubMed Centra

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